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Further, Cutler says the business lead will be passed on to economic developers at EDCUtah, where the collaboration, cooperation and communication continue. EDCUtah works in partnership with GOED to centralize the economic development effort, managing RFP responses that will be provided by local economic developers, setting up site visits (which often include visits with the mayors and business leaders from the locations of interest), providing research information and, if schedules permit, arranging visits for company leaders with Gov. Gary R. Herbert.
“Economic development in Utah is truly unique,” says EDCUtah President & CEO Jeff Edwards. “We work in partnership with GOED and with city and county economic developers to represent nearly every aspect of economic development in the State. We make it much less complicated for businesses to evaluate Utah locations and resources, and extend our expertise to the local level where limited budgets and manpower may preclude some of our smaller communities from participating in economic development projects.”
The “secret sauce” certainly sweetens business development across the State, from rural Utah to the State’s urban core. The partnerships begin at the top of State government, where Gov. Herbert is working hard to remove needless restrictions on business and industry. He is also focused on making State government more efficient.
The partnerships extend to educational relationships between business, industry and higher education to produce the skilled workforce needed for an increasing number of high-tech jobs in the State. For example, an effort called the Utah Cluster Acceleration Partnership (UCAP) is aligning business, government and education leaders to meet the workforce demands of specific industries, such as aerospace, digital media and renewable energy.
In another area, Gov. Herbert's new Economic Development Coordinating Council, a 12-member panel of government, business and industry leaders, is working to empower the private sector to grow 100,000 jobs in 1,000 days. Meanwhile, in rural Utah, economic developers and business leaders have collaborated to deploy a new Business Expansion and Retention (BEAR) program to support the growth and development of local businesses.
Business creation and expansion in Utah is further augmented through a network of business resource centers and the support of organizations like the Utah Alliance for Economic Development and the Utah Technology Council. The business resource centers are located strategically throughout the state. Many of the centers have co-located with SBA Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), SCORE chapters, U.S. Export Assistance Centers and Manufacturing Extension Partnerships.
Furthermore, business and industry organizations like the Salt Lake Chamber and the Utah Technology Council serve to build and maintain relationships between business, industry and government leaders to foster economic growth across the State.
The partnerships and collaboration that take place in Utah are truly phenomenal. The Utah Broadband Project is another example. In a joint effort, GOED, the Utah Public Service Commission and the Utah Department of Technology Services' Automated Geographic Reference Center partnered to develop a statewide map of available broadband services and a plan to increase broadband adoption and deployment in the State.
"Every broadband service provider in the State assisted in the project," says Tara Thue, GOED Project Manager. "It was simply amazing."
"We communicate, collaborate and cooperate to a degree that I have not seen in the 35 years I have been in business," says Cramer. "It makes an enormous difference. I have so many foreigners, internationalists and non-Utah people say to me, 'You guys actually cooperate. You like each other.' We do like each other and we do cooperate and collaborate. We are a small State so we have to be together on economic development. We're not interested in turf wars. We want to see businesses grow and flourish and that is a team effort."
Perhaps that's why Forbes, in ranking Utah No. 1 for business and careers, said "the Utah story is far from over."